What I’ve been reading {April and May}

 

The past two months I did something I’ve never really done before.  I walked away from books that I had started.  And not just one or two, but four books!  I’ve always tried to trudge through reading books I’ve started, even if I’m not crazy about the book.  Recently though I figured that life is just too short to read books you just don’t care for.  But the time I spent with the books felt a bit like wasted time.  Oh well, I guess you just won’t like every book there is, and the only way to find out is to actually start the book.

With that said, here are the books I did enjoy and I did read to completion during the months of April and May:

When I’m Gone by Emily Bleeker

This book was about life for family and friends after the death of young mom Natalie to cancer.  Widowed father, Luke, must learn to raise his young family all while learning how to live without the love of his life.  Then letters begin to arrive that are from Natalie that she wrote as she was living out her last days with cancer.  Some of the letters share things she did for the family, which she encourages Luke to carry on with despite his grief.  And some of the letters begin to reveal secrets about Natalie that Luke did not know.  There is a surprise twist at the end of this book that I didn’t see coming!

Confessions of a Depressed Christian by Jason R. McNaughten

Subtitle:  How a Pastor Survived Depression & How You Can Too

We Christians sometimes skirt around issues such as depression and anxiety.  I remember when I was diagnosed with Postpartum depression that I was very concerned about sharing my diagnosis with other Christians.  For the most part, those I shared the information with were very concerned and helped in any way that they could.

I recently stumbled across this book on Amazon and decided to grab it.  Why?  Well, a big cross country move and some disappointments & hard times & changes galore have left me feeling like I may be staring down at depression again. Not only that, my close friends and family members were telling me that they too thought I was depressed.  Then I found this book and gobbled it up in a few days.  Did this book help?  Yes, it really did!

The author Jason is a pastor (in Louisiana at that!) who has struggled with depression.  I kid you not, I cried through the entire book!  I felt like someone could actually understand the dark days that I had been struggling with.  But not only that, he offers tips for surviving depression for both the depressed Christian and their family members.  There were also chapters on how depression is a blessing and what churches need to do to help those who suffer from depression.  And since it was written by a pastor, it contains the Truth of the Word of God too.

I may write more about this subject later because there is much to be said about Christians who are dealing with depression. But if you are dealing with depression, this book is a good, short read that you can find on Amazon.

 

Money Making Mom by Crystal Paine

Subtitle:  How Every Woman Can Earn More and Make a Difference

I have had ideas for years about ways to supplement our income while I continue to be at home with our kids & homeschooling.  This book gave quite a huge dose of encouragement for women who are trying to help their families financially.  The author Crystal has done just that too.  You can learn more about Crystal at her website The Money Saving Mom.  I need to reread this book because I need a new dose of encouragement!

Girl Meets Change by Kristen Strong

Subtitle:  Truths to Carry You through Life’s Transitions

If I can say there is a book that has made a huge impact on my life recently, it is definitely this one.  Girl Meets Change shares author Kristen Strong’s journey to embracing change as a military wife.  Having come through many changes these past two years that were sometimes met with resistance from me, this book resonated loudly with me.  Loudly!  Let’s just say 90% of this book is highlighted!  Girl Meets Change was the book that made me realize my attitude towards the change was the problem.  But it’s done in such a gentle and kind way.  It’s like talking with my sweetest friend who points me to God when I’m the one with the problem.  I hope I explained that right.  But man, this book left its thumbprint on me, and I believe I’m forever changed because of the words that Kristen shared.

Do you have a big change coming up in your life?  Have you just been through a big change?  And we’re not just talking a move here.  We’re talking about health problems, kids graduating and leaving home, job changes…any kind of change.  If so, I can not recommend this book enough.  It really was life changing for me!

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Y’all, this book almost met my “started but not finished” book pile.  The language in that first chapter almost did me in!  I can handle some bad language in a book (I prefer none), but holy moly…let’s not go overboard!  But I had heard good things about this book so I carried on.  The language got to a more tolerable level in the book, but sometimes it still made me cringe.  If bad language in a book bothers you, then you might want to skip this one.

Eleanor and Park is about troubled teen Eleanor moving into a new town.  Eleanor is a march to the beat of her own drum kind of person and is ridiculed for it.  She ends up sitting next to Park on the school bus commutes.  At first, he ignores her because he doesn’t want to be looped in with her, and therefore bullied more than normal.  However, an unlikely relationship forms between the two over a comic book.

I probably wouldn’t reread this book (that language thing), but I do like that the book made me walk away with this:  what we see in people is not always what is really going on.  That funny dressing teenager?  That may be all she has, and she may be covering for what’s really going on in her life.  It was the lesson that I always teach my kids:  Get to know people for who they are instead of judging them by how they look or whatever label has been slapped upon them.  This is a lesson that we all need to remember, no matter how old we are.

So there are the books read these past few months!  This makes for a lengthy post but you can see from my very short synopsis (synopsises?  synopsi?) as to whether the book might be one you’d like to read.

And please leave book suggestions for me in the comments!  I’m always looking for a good read!

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